Published: 11:32, 08 September 2020
| Updated: 13:30, 08 September 2020
A brand new secondary school in Maidstone opened its doors to its first ever cohort of pupils this morning.
After nearly two years of construction, the School of Science and Technology Maidstone (SST) welcomed 192 Year 7 pupils with a round of applause on the first day of term.
Part of the Valley Invicta Academies Trust’s (VIAT), the school on New Cut Road will specialise in STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects.
VIAT chief executive, Julie Derrick, said: “Seeing our brand new school open for students today was an absolutely fantastic experience for us all.
"Today is the culmination of six years of hard work and dedication, and I am confident that students, parents and staff will now reap the benefits.
"This is a hugely exciting time for the trust and we feel incredibly fortunate to have this fantastic extension to our main VIAT campus. I hope every single one of our founding cohort of students feel welcome and as excited as we are."
The new building has 11 science rooms, six computer studies suites and specialist music, drama and design technology facilities.
SST Headteacher, Van Beales said: “Today is an exciting and significant day for all of us. I feel privileged to be leading such a wonderful school and I am grateful for the support we have had from our parents so far.
"We are delighted to welcome our students for the first time today. As our founding cohort, they will always be an important part of the history of the school, and the trust, and my team and I can’t wait to get to know them all and create a supportive, creative, enthusiastic, happy school community together.”
The school was formally handed over to the trust in May, marking the end of the 18-month construction project and VIAT's six year plan to build a new school.
While today is the first day of term, a formal opening will take place in November.
SST is one of six new school opening in Kent and the first of three to open in Maidstone this week.
Bearsted Primary Academy and Snowfields Academy, will open tomorrow.
Both schools on Popesfield Way are part of the Leigh Academies Trust.
Bearsted Primary School will offer 420 places, a nursery as well as a breakfast club.
Snowfields Academy will specialise in teaching children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as their primary need.